Set to be the star of the British Touring Car Championship 2006, how will the new SEAT Leon fare on the road?
Driving a hot hatch is all about getting noticed, and SEAT's bodykitted Leon will certainly turn heads wherever you go. Fans of the maker's BTCC team can drive to the track in a motor that looks like a touring car for the road, but they'll have to pay for the privilege! Pick the entire package and the new SEAT styling kit pushes higher-spec Leon prices into the territory of VW's Golf GTI. True performance buffs will be better off waiting for the Leon FR and Cupra.
The 2006 British Touring Car Championship has just begun, and the team that's got the best start is SEAT, winning the season's opening three rounds.
If watching the firm's beefy new Leon hatch roar to the chequered flag has caught your imagination, then this could be for you: a body-kit that gives the road car the style of a race winner! Penned by SEAT designers, the extra visual muscle can be added to even the most basic Leon at any dealership.
Our test car started life as a standard 2.0 TDI Sport, but a huge £2,745 later, it's become the head-turner pictured here. So where does the extra money go? The biggest injection of drama comes with striking £838.30 bumpers, complete with fake touring car-style air scoops, deeper side skirts and a tailgate spoiler. Eye-catching 18-inch alloy wheels shod in sporty rubber add another £1,021.04. The remaining costs are accounted for by a twin exhaust system, aluminium-effect trim in the cabin and a somewhat tacky silver finish on the door mirrors.
Hot hatch fans will be sad to learn that the modifications are only skin deep. So while there's the same sharp hand-ling and sprightly performance offered by a standard Leon, there's no extra muscle. SEAT's bodykit is not cheap, but it could give you the sportiest-looking Leon on the road until the fully fledged FR and Cupra arrive later in the year.